Eid rush: Air India Express, Jet Airways to operate additional flights to Doha

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India government has asked Air India Express and Jet Airways to operate additional temporary flights to Doha to meet the massive demand ahead of Eid and summer holidays.

Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday said that additional flights on the India-Qatar route will start shortly to ease the movement of Indians staying in the Middle East country..

  • Jet Airways will operate a 168-seater aircraft on June 22 and June 23 between Mumbai and Doha.
  • Air India Express will be flying its 186-seater Boeing 737 on Thiruvananthapuram-Doha and Cochin- Doha routes from June 25 to July 8.

The decision to operate additional flights was taken after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday took up the issue with Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

“All steps necessary for timely movement of our citizens from Doha will be ensured. I and @SushmaSwaraj ji are in touch on this issue,” Raju tweeted.

Not an “emergency evacuation”

However it seems the minister’s tweets have been misunderstood by many as an emergency evacuation due to ongoing diplomatic crisis.

Unfortunately a number of leading media in India have used terms like “airlift”, “emergency” and “evacuation due to gulf crisis”.

NRICafe.com can confirm that the ongoing rush is normal during Eid and summer holidays which happens to be the peak season for travelers in the region.

It is true that the diplomatic crisis has affected a large number of Indians who had to cancel their tickets as UAE based airlines like Emirates, Etihad and Air Arabia ceased operating to Doha.

However almost all of these travelers are going on vacation and should not be mistaken as a exodus or emergency situation.

Currently, three domestic airlines — Jet Airways, IndiGo and Air India Express operate flights from several destinations in India to Doha. Qatar Airways operates flights from Doha to Indian cities.

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The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain had banned the use of their airspace for flights to and from Doha earlier this month and later revised the embargo saying it would apply only for Qatar operators.

In early June, India-based airlines said that their operations to Doha have not been impacted by the imposition of airspace restrictions.

Published on 22 June 2017

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